Today I stumbled across the Guardian article, “Influence of classic literature on writers declining.” I understand what the author is saying. When I was in high school and college I learned all sorts of classical literature which I am eternally grateful for. However, now that I’m older and less patient, I am more happy with reading YA and contemporary literature.
I still need to write my book reviews for the last two books I read during my classic literature run. I haven’t done one of them because I just want to say, “this wasn’t my thing” even though everyone and their grandmother seems to love it. The word Steve used was “accessible.” With authors like Austen, the language gets in the way of the story for me. I enjoy it but it takes more work. Still, I am 100% behind reading the classics. Without knowing Shakespeare, for example, you can’t know how literature has evolved into what it is today.
Still, the ease of contemporary fiction is good for influence’s sake, as the article suggests. While not all of it is good or anything that I’d be interested in personally, the same has gone for classic books of the day when the sensationalist novels were full of drivel. It’s just a fact of literary heritage that best sellers are not always going to be quality books. That doesn’t mean we can’t read them for entertainment. I still like to watch reality shows from time to time even though I know they’re full of pretentious crap. But I digress.
Personally, I want a balance of classic to contemporary but lately my preference has been leaning more into the modern fiction (and the books that were popular when I was a kid, as you can see in my photo.)